OTTAWA, Feb. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment, issued the following statement on World Wetlands Day 2013.
"Each year on February 2nd, countries around the world celebrate World Wetlands Day, marking the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, also known as the Ramsar Convention. On this important day, I would like to thank our many partners and recognize our achievements in the conservation of wetlands across Canada. Today, Canada is home to 37 designated Wetlands of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention—covering an area of almost 131,000 km2.
"The theme for World Wetlands Day 2013 is Wetlands and Water Management, which brings attention to the interdependence of water and wetlands. Wetlands represent one of the most important life support systems in our natural environment. Acting as nature's ‛kidneys‛, wetlands filter millions of litres of water every day, retain more fresh water than any other place in the world, and act as sponges to help control flooding.
"The Government of Canada continues to make conservation of wetlands a priority through a number of initiatives including: over seven million hectares of wetlands secured for waterfowl and wildlife under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan; 16 Canadian Ramsar sites with protected areas status as part of Environment Canada's network of National Wildlife Areas and Migratory Bird Sanctuaries; and the long-term protection of 339, 600 hectares of ecologically sensitive land across Canada under the Natural Areas Conservation Program.
"The Government of Canada also provides funding through various programs to protect and conserve our natural environment, such as the Habitat Stewardship Program, the EcoAction Community Funding Program, and the Environmental Damages Fund. For example, since its inception, the Habitat Stewardship Program has provided more than $124M to support over 2100 projects to conserve and protect species at risk and their habitats.
"We are actively working with our partners to continue to protect wetlands across Canada. The Government's establishment of the Hunting and Angling Advisory Panel in 2012 will help to ensure that government decisions around Canada's fish and wildlife habitats are based on inclusive, broad-based advice. By working together, we can better restore and conserve Canada's wetlands."
For more information on Environment Canada's programs and on the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, please visit http://www.ec.gc.ca/habitat/default.asp?lang=En&n=7127734D-1.
SOURCE: Environment Canada
For further information:
Office of the Minister of the Environment
Environment Canada's Twitter page: http://twitter.com/environmentca
Environment Canada's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/environmentcan
(Également disponible en français)